September 29, 2021 3:22 PM
Public Health Extends Mask Requirement in Public Indoor Spaces
(September 29, 2021) – San Miguel County Public Health will extend the county-wide public health policy requiring masks in public indoor places. The requirement will be renewed before expiration tomorrow night, Thursday, September 30 at 11:59 pm MST.
The public health order is set to expire on Monday, November 1 at 11:59 pm MST with an option for early termination if metrics improve. The requirement will apply to business employees and members of the public who visit public indoor places and for all individuals 2 years of age and older, regardless of vaccination status.
Since the start of the school year, cases in children have increased dramatically, with children ages 6-11 who are ineligible to be vaccinated facing the highest rates in the state. Since September 1, COVID-19 cases in San Miguel County’s school-aged children more than doubled the total cases reported in August. Household exposure is also on the rise, accounting for thirty-four percent of cases in the last 30 days, highlighting the impact of the more transmissible Delta variant.
“In-person learning remains one of our top priorities when considering layers of protection like this indoor mask requirement,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “We’ve seen the impact of sustained mask requirements in other counties like ours. As we head into colder months where we saw a sustained increase in cases last year, a proactive approach to the various layers of protection will help contain the spread, especially with the addition of vaccines.”
“Public indoor places” continues to be defined broadly to include any enclosed indoor area, which is publicly or privately owned, to which the public has access by right or invitation. It includes enclosed indoor space serving as a place of employment, indoor stores, businesses, schools, common areas, offices, lobbies, and elevators. Consequently, employers should continue implementation of this requirement amongst employees, contractors, customers, and anyone else within their indoor space.
The federal government continues to require masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. This federal mandate includes the gondola servicing Telluride and Mountain Village and all public buses throughout the county.
Businesses and entities may impose more strict requirements, but not less restrictive.